Amy Forliti

MINNEAPOLIS: Mohamed Roble was weeks shy of his 11th birthday when the school bus he was on plummeted more than 30 feet as the bridge beneath gave way.

Now, according to court testimony in a federal terrorism trial, Roble — one of the 145 people injured in the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people — is believed to be in Syria with the Islamic State group.

Roble and four of his siblings were on the bus that was carrying 52 students and several adults when the Interstate 35W span collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007, sending shock waves nationwide about infrastructure safety. The bus occupants survived.

His injuries included headaches, arm, neck and back pain, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder, records show. One letter from a therapist said Roble “seems the most traumatized of all the siblings” and “he worked on his spiritual belief that ‘God had saved him for a purpose.’?”

For his injuries, a 2009 state court order says, Roble was due to get a lump sum payment of $65,431.22 on his 18th birthday — roughly a month and a half before federal prosecutors say he left the U.S. for Istanbul, Turkey.

Roble’s name surfaced in federal court last week during the trial of three Minnesota men accused of conspiring to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Testimony has suggested that at least some of the men in the group knew Roble had money and asked him to fund their trips. One man believed Roble went to Syria with thousands of dollars and used it to pay for weddings for fighters and cars.

The bridge collapse was not mentioned during the trial. The Associated Press made the connection using state court records to trace the bridge collapse victim to a Minneapolis high school, then matched the victim’s yearbook picture to a photo the government has provided of the young man believed to be in Syria. A handful of people who knew the family also confirmed the match.

Phone numbers and addresses for Roble’s family were not available and they could not be reached for comment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment beyond what was said in court.

According to evidence presented in federal court last week, Roble flew to Istanbul in October 2014 as part of an itinerary that included a trip to China. He was due to return to the U.S. in June 2015, but never did, FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force Officer Joel Pajak testified.

“We received information that Mr. Roble ended up in Syria with his uncle, Abdi Nur,” Pajak testified.

Nur is among 10 men charged in the case; six others have pleaded guilty, and a trial continues in Minneapolis for the other three.

Prosecutors say the men were part of a group of friends who inspired each other to join the Islamic State group. Roble has not been charged, but prosecutors included his picture in a court exhibit that contains the photos of 16 men who authorities say joined or conspired to join militant groups.